September 29, 2011 5:45 AM
A new streetcar shelter by Tulane architecture professor John Klingman is designed to provide much-needed protection for travelers on the historic St. Charles line in New Orleans. At more than 48 feet long and 9 feet wide and located at the terminus of the line at South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues, it is part of a larger effort by the Regional Transit Authority to ease the hassle of commuting.
Klingman collaborated with student assistant Garret Jacobs, who graduated in May, to create a simple, durable form that complements the historic streetcars and provides protection from the elements to passengers as they are waiting. The project is part of the Tulane City Center mission to develop outreach projects by architecture students and professors.
“The St. Charles Avenue streetcar is the oldest continuously operating streetcar system in the nation, so I wanted to create a structure that was dynamic and iconic and fit with the historical context of the area,” Klingman says.
He made sure the forms and materials chosen were durable and would require little maintenance. The powder-coated steel finish of the structure not only resists deterioration but also vandalism. The lower pitched roof extension overlaps the streetcar top, providing rain protection for passengers, while the upper surface has solar-powered panels that provide nighttime LED lighting for the shelter, an important factor in passenger safety.
The project was initiated by former New Orleans City Council member Shelley Midura and was supported by the Regional Planning Commission through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Klingman’s design was detailed for construction by Infinity Engineering Consultants. The project is ready for public bidding, with construction anticipated in 2012.
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